Indonesian Man Becomes Instant Millionaire After Selling Meteorite That Crashed On To His Roof

An Indonesian man became a millionaire overnight after a meteor crashed through his roof. Josua Hutagalung, 33, is a coffin maker from Sumatra. He became astronomically richer after he recently sold the meteorite for over 1.8 million USD or 26 billion rupiah.

josua hutaglung facebookHe was working when the rock crash-landed through the roof of his home on Aug. 1, 2020. The meteorite, weighing 2.1kg, left a large hole in the roof and ended up buried 15cm deep in the soil.

“The sound was so loud that parts of the house were shaking too. And after I searched, I saw that the tin roof of the house had broken,” he told news outlet Kompas at the time. “When I lifted it, the stone was still warm.”

He shared photos of the meteorite on Facebook, where they created a flurry of interest.

Mr Hutagalung told The Sun he sold the rock to US meteorite expert Jared Collins. Collings, in turn, sold the item to a US collector. The collector is currently storing it at the Centre for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University.

Collins said: “My phone lit up with crazy offers for me to jump on a plane and buy the meteorite. It was in the middle of the Covid crisis. Frankly, it was a toss-up between buying the rock for myself or working with scientists and collectors in the US. I carried as much money as I could muster and went to find Josua. Josua turned out to be a canny negotiator.”

Mr Hutagalung indicated that the amount he sold the rare rock for was over 1.8 million USD.

Type of Meteorite

According to the Independent, the meteorite is classified as CM1/2 carbonaceous chondrite. It is an extremely rare variety of meteorite. Estimates of the age of meteorite is around 4.5 billion years old. It is reportedly worth around approximately 850 USD per gram.

According to the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Texas, US, the meteorite has been officially named as Kolang.

The head of Indonesia’s National Aeronautics and Space Agency, Thomas Djamaluddin held a press conference. He told local media it was rare for such a large piece to fall in a residential community. “Most of the meteorites fall in locations far from settlements, such as oceans, forests, or deserts”, he said.

Future Plans

Some reports speculate that the amount Mr Hutaglung has received is close to 30 years of his current salary. In conclusion, according to Hutagalung, he plans to use a portion of the money to build a church in his community.

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